The Windward Islands will not be worried about the “mystery spin” of Trinidad and Tobago off-spinner Sunil Narine when the teams meet starting tomorrow in Round Four of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four Day Tournament.
Seasoned opening batsman Devon Smith yesterday told reporters during a training session at Queen’s Park Oval, the match venue, that his team is not too worried about Narine, despite the spinner’s success against CCC (Combined Campuses and Colleges) and Barbados in the tournament so far.
Narine has snared 21 wickets in the competition after two matches: 13 against CCC and eight against Barbados, including three five-wicket hauls.
But Smith is not focussed on what Narine can do.
“We’re ready to face any challenge,” Smith said. “It’s cricket we’re playing, we’re not playing names, we’re going to play bat and ball. On a good day we can defeat anybody. So on the day let’s see what takes place.”
The Windwards lost their opening match in Jamaica, before bouncing back with victory over Guyana. Having enjoyed a bye last round, the team is in good spirits and looking for win number two, said Smith.
“We always give Trinidad a fight regardless of what (format) of cricket we’re playing. So we’re looking for a good performance on Friday.”
The Windwards’ bowling is in good shape, he said, and attributed their improved form to better batting. That, and the return of captain Darren Sammy—who missed the season opener—boosted their performance in the Guyana match.
“The skipper always plays a key role as an all-rounder, in the middle of the order he’s capable of scoring runs and getting wickets,” Smith pointed out. “So I think it was a little downfall that we missed him, but such is life. We bounced back in the second game, and we’re looking forward to the third game.”
Smith scored a century in a losing cause in their season opener against Jamaica, and is pleased with his form. He is hoping Windwards can keep their momentum and mount a serious title chase this year.
“For the last couple years we have been reaching semi-finals regardless of what form of the game (we’re playing). We have to (start getting to) the final now and then it’s just one more hurdle we have to cross,” Smith said.
“We believe in ourselves, we just have to go out there and do what we have to do. We all know what we have to do.”
—Kern De Freitas